I. Love. Board games. My most recent birthday money was 75% spent on SWD. The other 25% percent was spent on Lego® products. And, since I’m obviously a TFOL, when there are Lego® board games, I get pumped. However, the official ones don’t satisfy the complexity I like.
So why not make one?
In TURN, I decided that I’m going to write about how to make Lego® board games (did you get the pun? Yeah, it’s bad). However, there are a lot of details, so I’m going to separate it into multiple posts. Today, I’m going to talk about Pre-build Development.
Yeah, sounds boring? Well, it’s a necessary part to good games. So, let’s get started (or get it over with, depending who you are)! 😉
STEP 1: What’s the genre? Type of game?
First, you need to figure out what you’re making. If you already have an idea, you can skip this step. However, here are a few ways to figure out one if needed:
- Think about your favorite games. Why do you like them? For example, one thing I like is building games. So I am doing a little with the base of Catan®.
- What kind of games do you like? I like some war games like Risk, so I’ll base it off this as well.
- What’s you favorite game mechanic? These are the ‘bases’ of the games. Mine, again, is building. Here is a list of some game mechanics.
STEP 2: Figure out a basic idea of the game.
Now that you have an idea of the kind of game you’re making, now you need to get specific. Think of an objective of the game and a one-sentence description. I’m doing a game of naval conquest where you gain resources and conquer islands. The goal is to control them all.
This will take some brainstorming. If you’re having trouble, then take five minutes to just throw all your ideas on paper, then use that to come up with an idea. You also should then come up with a project name. This is what you call it, even though you haven’t created a final name. I’m calling mine “War of Seas.”
STEP 3: Make a list of what you’ll need to build.
Now is the best part of this phase. Think of the parts you’ll need such as pawns, coins, and resources. Write out everything you think you’ll maybe need, then figure out what you definitely need. As you go through the whole game process, you may need to add or get rid of things, but at the moment you are just setting up for finishing the game.
STEP 4: Fine tune all that you’ve done.
Now, go through all your notes and ideas to finalize your thoughts and needs for the game. You should do this now, since a lot of the building is going to rely on this information.
Stay tuned for PART 2- Building! Remember, you can always go back to steps in the middle of the process- which you likely will!